U.S. Congress approves defense budget providing for allocation of $300 mln to Ukraine

The United States Congress agreed on a defense budget for 2020 in the amount of $738 billion, which in particular includes the allocation of $300 million for the needs of the Ukrainian army.

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate Armed Services Committees agreed on a compromise version of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, after months of negotiations, Reuters reported.

“The NDAA also reauthorizes $300 million of funding for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, to include lethal defensive items as well as new authorities for coastal defense cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles,” reads the report.

Among other things, the proposed fiscal 2020 NDAA imposes sanctions related to Russia’s Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines and bars military-to-military cooperation with Russia.

The NDAA also prohibits the transfer of F-35 stealth fighter jets, which Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) is developing, to Turkey.

The legislation also contains a series of provisions intended to address potential threats from China, including requiring reports on China’s overseas investments and its military relations with Russia.

A senior Pentagon official said earlier that U.S. President Donald Trump would seek at least another $250 million in security aid for Ukraine in his 2020 budget request, including lethal Javelin anti-tank weapons.

© 2019 Ukrinform News

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